Lillian committed her life to helping others. In addition to her public health contribution, she worked to improve women's rights and the welfare of children. In 1903, to help women in the workforce, she helped establish the Women's Trade Union League. Two years later, Wald established a federal organization to help children and end child labor. She spent years lobbying for this idea until it became official: The Children's Bureau was established in 1912.
With social reformer Jane Addams and others, she formed the American Union against Militarism in 1914, during a world war outbreak. Wald and Fanny Garrison Villard led a march of more than 1,000 women in New York City to protest the war on August 29, 1914(biography.com, 2016). Wald later created the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.
Over the years the settlement was a powerful source of innovation in the social settlement movement and in the broader field of social work. The Neighborhood Playhouse was opened in connection with the settlement in 1915, through the benefaction of Irene Lewisohn, who is a long time contributor to dance. Residents at Henry Street included U.S. secretary of the Treasury under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.